By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Moving on toward greener pastures and Easter weekend, today's Roundup welcomes you to the Friday-Sunday period with stories of two shootings and where readers can acquire free tax help ahead of the April 18 filing deadline. We also recount an effort to blow the whistle against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston over a possible state law violation before our weekend reading list and six-day weather forecast.
It is Friday, April 15, and here's what every resident of the Queen City needs to know until Monday.
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1. Charlotte-area shootings: 18-year-old killed at gas station, 1 injured at DaBaby's house
What happened: A pair of shootings this week left one person dead outside of a Mint Hill gas station and another injured at hip-hop artist DaBaby's house in Troutman, North Carolina, roughly 35 miles north of Charlotte.
Gas station shooting: Police are investigating after someone shot and killed an 18-year-old woman at a Shell gas station near the intersection of Albemarle and Wilgrove Mint Hill roads around 4 p.m. on Thursday. Occurring along the border of Charlotte and its eastern suburb of Mint Hill, the case falls within the jurisdiction of the Mint Hill Police Department, which has not released the victim's name but did attribute the incident to an argument.
Upon arriving at the scene, officers found the victim with a bullet wound behind the wheel of her car and performed CPR before pronouncing her deceased.
DaBaby debacle: Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, officers responded to a home in Iredell County owned by Charlotte-residing rapper DaBaby after an individual took a gunshot to the leg. Audio of an emergency call reveals that someone at the $2.3 million mansion told dispatchers that "I shot him in the leg," though police have not stated who dialed 911.
When the dispatcher asked why they fired the bullet, the caller said, "He's trespassing on my property," adding, "He's neutralized until you guys get here." Emergency crews transported the victim to a hospital in Charlotte to be treated for non-life0threatening injuries, per WSOC.
2. Tax deadline approaching: Where to file for free in NC and SC
What's happening: Monday is the last day that United States residents can file their taxes without leaving the good graces of the IRS due to Emancipation Day, an April 16 federal holiday that gives government employees time off on the standard tax deadline of April 15. With the filing period ending in three days, here are a few options where residents of both Carolinas can report their taxes for free or cheap.
Readers who may miss Monday's cutoff can also apply for a free, six-month extension that would push the deadline back to October 17 here.
Inexpensive tax services in NC:
- Community Link's VITA — Charlotte's most substantial offering for residents who want free tax filings, Uptown nonprofit Community Link is offering complimentary categorization services for Charlotteans who earned no more than $58,000 in 2021 through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Find opportunities to file for free in person or virtually at this page.
- NCfreefile — The North Carolina Department of Revenue keeps a list of resources that offer costless tax filing via this link. Each provider has its own income thresholds and some have age requirements, but most can be completed online.
- IRS — A bit more difficult than brokering the services of an accountant or a costless initiative, readers can also file their taxes free of fees on the Internal Revenue Service's website.
Inexpensive tax services in SC:
- United Way's VITA — The United Way of York County, South Carolina is hosting its own version of VITA, though residents will need to have earned $56,000 or less last year to qualify. Today is the last day to acquire free help at the Pathways Community Center on South Cherry Road in Rock Hill, which will be open for finance reviews between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Find more information right here. The organization is also directing South Carolinians to file on MyFreeTaxes.
- SC Free File — Similar to North Carolina's webpage, South Carolina's revenue agency also has an itemized table of income assistance over at this address.
Back in January, we brought you the story of widespread teacher absences at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, but now district Superintendent Earnest Winston is coming under fire from a school board member alleging that he failed to heed North Carolina's truancy laws. Specifically, CMS Board of Education member Sean Strain is concerned that Winston had not been accurately tracking warning letters sent to parents of students who missed school.
Under state law, school leaders are required to inform parents following their child's sixth and 10th unexcused absences; after the latter, schools are told to inform police, who then obtain a criminal summons from a Mecklenburg County judge. But Winston told Strain in an email that, while the distinct does send out letters, it can't account for how many have been sent by each individual building.
Because county courts have been encumbered with case backlogs, no parents have been prosecuted for violating absentee laws since the start of the 2021-2022 school year. A WCNC story from August confirmed the district's absence threshold as 10 days of missed school but stated that students can miss more if their days away are approved or if they are sick or in quarantine.
4. Weekend reading list
It was a busy week in Charlotte. and the Roundup can only be so long. Here are a few stories that weren't touched upon but still deserve readers' attention.
- Hawks hamstring Hornets' playoff chances: The Hornets' 2021-2022 season ended with a whimper at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Wednesday, when LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, PJ Washington and others walked off the court after losing 132-103 to the Hawks. The issues started with a stalled train that made the Charlotte team late, per Yahoo Sports, and continued when Hornets forward Miles Bridges alley-ooped his mouth guard into the face of a child wearing Hawks gear, according to ESPN. Bridges later apologized for miffing the fan with the mouthpiece, which came after officials ejected him in the fourth quarter for goaltending against De'Andre Hunter.
- Biden's business visit: During his trip to North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro on Thursday, President Joe Biden said the United States' economy "has gone from being on the mend, to being on the move," per The Washington Post. In order to grease the wheels on the American monetary machine, Biden urged attendees at the nation's largest historically Black college to encourage Congress to pass the America COMPETES Act. The wide-scale bill builds off the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act passed in June of 2021 to support research and development in the manufacturing sector, WXYZ reported.
- Opioid opportunity: As part of a combined $26 billion settlement from drug suppliers Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson, North Carolina is set to get $750 million to pour into programs that fight opioid addiction. That gives state officials a wide umbrella to spread programming, but according to Queen City Nerve, there is disagreement between local governments and state agencies about how the money should be used.
- Coffee for a cause: Baristas at the Mallard Pointe Starbucks at 2121 E. Arbors Dr. welcomed a flood of customers on April 4, but it wasn't a typical evening rush. Instead, the organizers carried signs and ordered drinks using the name "Union YES!" to signify their support of employees' efforts to form a local branch of the Starbucks Workers United union, per Queen City Nerve.
5. Six-day weather forecast
Expect considerable cloud coverage in Charlotte this week with a few sunny spots. Saturday and Monday each bring an expected half-inch of rain at high chances, with the latter date feeling a bit cooler than the days surrounding it.